Hughes, Emmett - Country weddings | Bowing Down Home


File: hughesemmett-oh-houseparties_weddings_M.mp3


EH - Emmett Hughes

KP – Curator Ken Perlman

KP What were the old house parties like? Did they take place in your house quite often?

EH Yes, they'd go from house to house, usually the house that got afficted the worse was that that had a fiddler there, they could land there anytime. The other place that there's no fiddler, they'd have to go looking for one.

KP What time of the evening would they start?

EH In the wintertime, they'd start pretty early, about seven or eight o'clock. They wouldn't last until morning, though; we'd be working. A wedding, then, was anywhere's from the afternoon to daylight in the morning, they went clean through, sometimes the second day along with it. They were a big affair, then. The weddings were all in the house.They made a big dinner and everything else, and they'd go from morning til the next morning, at least.

KP Let's say a fiddler would arrive at the house party, and then what would happen?

EH Well, mostly the wedding would be in the morning and then they'd have dinner, well then the music would start when the dinner'd be over, and the fiddlin would start, and then have supper and then they'd go on into the night.

KP What about house parties?

EH The house parties, there'd be sometimes lunch, sometimes not lunch, all according if they figured you were coming. If they knew whether you were coming or it was a surprize -- 30 or 40, you couldn't really feed them. But they were good entertainment.

KP What kinds of dances did they do at the house parties?

EH Well, square sets, and there was a lot of step dancing. Back then, pretty near everybody step danced. And at that time in my early days we had an Eight-Hand reel. When that was, everybody had to dance, boys and girls. There'd be eight couples and you had to step dance through that. Everybody had to be able to dance to get into that. But see most of the people learned then a few steps, and then there was some fairly good at it then. And there's some fairly good yet.